Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a dental compound that’s started gaining traction in dentist offices. We’ve used it here at Warr Pediatric Dental Associates, as well.

Science Daily shared a story of one school’s findings, where 3000 children were given an SDF treatment. What the school observed was that even just one application of silver diamine fluoride prevented 80% of cavities. Further, 50% of kids who already had cavities saw the treatment prevented them from getting worse while they awaited real restorative treatment.

That’s often where we use SDF in our office — as a cavity arrester.

A patient may have a cavity and not able to obtain restorative treatment right away. To prevent the cavity from getting worse in the mean time, we use SDF because it’s quick, painless, and effective.

However, we need to compare apples to apples.

SDF is roughly as effective as a dental sealant at preventing cavities, but is not a replacement for sealants. This is because SDF isn’t a long term coating, and most of the teeth SDF ends up being used on will eventually need to be filled, or will fall out on their own (baby teeth). Silver diamine fluoride is a temporary solution, or a holdover until a restorative treatment, you could say.

Dental sealants, on the other hand, ARE a form of restoration in themselves to strengthen and protect teeth.

If you think your child might have a cavity in a baby tooth, call our office today to schedule an exam.